The coronavirus has shaken us up. Even if you never get it, and don’t know anyone who has, the virus and our reactions to it have changed us individually and collectively. I’m an eternal optimist (my middle name is Hope), and I see one very positive and powerful trend – live online yoga classes.
We all know that there are a zillion yoga videos on YouTube. At this moment, I see 388,000,000. Sixty and Me created gentle yoga videos. I’ve made some myself. Those videos are a wonderful resource. I’m glad to know I can find so many yoga videos at any hour of the day.
But something new is happening. Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Because many are home-bound, yoga teachers are offering classes and 1-on-1 sessions online.
Keep reading to find out why live online yoga lessons are awesome for seniors (and everyone else). I’m offering my lessons on ZOOM, so any technical references below are for that platform.
Something’s missing in those 388,000,000 YouTube videos, and that’s accountability. The lovely yogi or yogini who recorded the videos might know that you watched it when you press “like” or leave a comment, but they won’t really know if you did the yoga.
With the coronavirus, or really anytime, most of us benefit from some commitments in our week. Retirees often float a while in the bliss of not going to work, but then find they need some structure to make life work.
We need to schedule time for important things like exercise and self-care, so that we don’t let it drift too late in the day and skip it.
With live classes, you generally have to register in advance and pay a fee. That small commitment makes you far more likely to continue committing when you put it on your calendar, get ready, and actually do the class.
I’ve recently started teaching online. I “arrive” to the video room early and check in with each of my students. I see them. As we are doing the class, I see them. If it’s a small class, I can notice when they are a bit off track with their alignment.
I may say their name and invite them to adjust. This ability will vary depending on the teacher and how many students are on the video connection. Just like in a local class, I will notice if a registered student does not show up.
When I started teaching online, I was extremely pleased with how efficient it is for me and my students. You can put breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the oven, do the class, and wrap up just in time to walk straight into the kitchen and eat!
You don’t have to drive in traffic or park your car. You can fold your laundry or walk your dog up until class time, and just plop down in your living room to do the lesson.
If you are a caregiver for kids, grandkids, a spouse, or another loved one in your home, you can take a short break from being a caregiver without travel time. It is good for your loved ones to see you doing something for yourself.
Live online yoga lessons are ideal for people who prefer privacy. You may be an introvert. You may love being at home. Maybe you don’t want to chit-chat with people before or after class at the gym or yoga studio. You may feel a bit shy about going in public in yoga pants. You may have cat or dog fur on your yoga pants.
These are all excellent reasons to do yoga at home, in whatever clothes you want to wear.
If you don’t want anyone to see you doing the poses, simply turn off your webcam. In Zoom the individual users have the ability to turn off their audio and video at any time for privacy.
You’ll still benefit from the accountability because the teacher knows you are there even if he or she cannot see or hear you. You’re “in the room,” doing the yoga, and getting the benefits, on your terms.
There’s another element of privacy. It’s mental privacy. When you aren’t near other people, you won’t watch them do their yoga poses. You can focus internally, breathe, and feel what your body needs.
Yoga was designed as a personal spiritual practice and path. Practicing at home is ideal for that quiet mental space.
Online, amazing teachers and students can connect from anywhere. My yoga teacher lives only a 90 minute drive from my home. I have not made the trip in almost a year. When she offered online classes due to the coronavirus, I was happy to connect with her in that way.
I am now also taking online classes with a teacher in California, 3000 miles away. You can pick and choose from the best instructors in the world!
We can also connect with fellow students and dear friends. Depending on what video format your teacher uses, there may be a time and opportunity for students to see each other as well. In my first few online classes, I cried with joy to see friends and students joining me from other states and countries.
You can see your local friends at online yoga class, even if you are still home-bound.
Online lessons are safe for seniors because you choose your teacher and your class. You can choose a teacher with experience working with older adults.
It’s safe because you can stay home if you have a weakened immune system or allergies. You can stay home if you are self-quarantined because you’ve traveled.
And finally, of course, it’s safe during the coronavirus. You practice in your own space, on your own mat, with peace of mind.
You will need some level of technical skill. You will likely need to register for the class online and feel comfortable paying online with a credit or debit card. You will receive an email confirmation. Usually you will have a link to click to view the class.
In my case, I allow 15–30 minutes before each class to make sure my students have logged on and can see and hear me.
An added bonus of live online yoga classes is that you have to make a space and put your mat on the floor. You have created a space for yoga in your home. This is a powerful step towards creating a habit!
Eckhart Tolle said, “Adversity is a great opportunity to deepen spiritual awareness. Use it, don’t waste it.” Adversity is also a great opportunity to try new things. We will all be glad when the coronavirus is over.
I cannot see ahead much further than a few days. I see live online yoga classes as a huge positive that has come from this situation. I am certainly open to continuing online classes even when we have the option to go to class locally.
I invite you to join me in online yoga classes and wellness services. Click here to book a complimentary phone or video consultation with me. I look forward to meeting you online!
What are you doing to stay connected to your favorite teachers and wellness guides? What online classes are you taking from home? What do you enjoy most about them? Please share with our community!
Tags Yoga for Seniors